Flooded!

You’d think I’d have more serious things on my mind than what to do with my hair. As if Pakistan isn’t going through a worse disaster than the 2005 tsunami and the Kashmir and Haiti earthquakes all put together. As if millions of people haven’t been displaced, rendered homeless, and left to the mercy of nature….and the government.

Muzaffargarh

The thing is, we’re staggered by the scale of this new devastation, now that the truth has hit home, and we’re at a loss and feeling puny. Disbelief has been replaced by despair, a feeling acutely compounded by the mis-actions of our president. Much has been said about his jaunt abroad, Cheshire cat grin in place. I for one, am dumbfounded by his speeches and his behaviour. His bereavement over Benazir has always seemed disingenuous, and so now does his concern for the well-being of his countrymen. He is a liar and a joker. Perhaps a clever joker. After all, he has amassed wealth that has not even been assessed. It infuriates me that he owns a chateau in Normandy. He should be made to sell it, and all his other homes, and use the money to help the people of his country.

As if that’ll happen.

Anyways, there seem to be a lot of organisations working towards getting relief supplies across to the flood affectees. Huz and I donated some money to my neighbour, who was collecting along with a bunch of friends, though I felt it wasn’t enough, we definitely need to do more, and surely enough, more independent groups are presenting themselves as trustworthy avenues for getting help across directly to the affected. The trouble is, it is the month of Ramazan, when communal dues and zakat must be given, not to mention help those of the poor in direct connection to us….like my maid Zahooran. So there’s only so much that can go around. Rising inflation has hit us all, but especially the poor, who struggle to make ends meet as it is, and I know Zahooran waits all year for this time when she can count on me being more generous than usual.

But after reading the papers today, another horrifying scenario is rearing its head. Famine.

They’re saying prices of fresh produce are going to go through the roof, as supply starts dwindling. And of course it will…..huge swathes of standing crops and farmland have been inundated.

Zahooran tells me worriedly, that even after the water recedes, the land will be waterlogged and rendered useless for a long time. It will be uncultivable and she knows this because her family back home does ‘khaiti bari’ in Riyasat Bahawalpur. And I cannot even begin to comprehend how the farmers and their families are going to deal with something like this, let alone us city people who depend on the rural people to provide us with what they grow. What the f*** are we going to do??

For now I intend to gather together another carton of rations to donate to the flood relief effort organised by KGS middle school. It seems some of the staff is going to go along with the donated goods in a big truck and distribute the food and medicines themselves, which is just great. But at the end of the day, I know I’ll be sleeping in a dry comfy bed, and my heart goes out to those millions of people for whom even the basics of human living are now an unimaginable luxury…

If prayers would work I’d pray, but I think what is called for now is extreme generosity. To hell with donor fatigue. We can’t just sit around and feel horrified and helpless. We have to help as much as we can! And we have to keep helping relentlessly.

the displaced.
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7 thoughts on “Flooded!

  1. sakina August 20, 2010 / 5:00 pm

    very well said and written….. empathy is what is required for us to feel not sympathy…

    • Munira August 21, 2010 / 11:50 am

      thanks sax, and you got it right there…

  2. boho fangirl September 17, 2010 / 6:45 pm

    My heart goes out to them.. Hope things get better soon..

  3. munira's bubble September 18, 2010 / 5:47 am

    Thanks for dropping by boho fangirl, and for the sympathy..

  4. Kathryn McCullough September 4, 2011 / 12:23 pm

    Incredible post, Munira! Powerful writing about a such utter devastation. Isn’t it incredible how disaster tends to compound itself! Thank God for the generosity of folks like you. I have to agree–generosity means more than passive praying!
    Kathy

    • Munira September 4, 2011 / 5:28 pm

      I wonder how those people are faring now….
      Your post on Haiti and what bloggers can do to help was a great thing to write and I’m glad you did so.

  5. auntyuta March 20, 2012 / 6:28 am

    I know it’s very difficult to accept that we cannot do more for people in need. There are quite a few people in Australia who know what it’s like to be flooded or overrun by bushfires. In Australia people are lucky though in that they can count on getting help whenever needed. Still, natural disasters can result in very tough lives for the people affected.

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